Until today, the last time I used PSN was in 2008, when I purchased flOw for my PSP, and downloaded the Wipeout Pulse demo. The day before yesterday, I took the small bit of money I’d set aside to get myself something for my birthday (Money separate from my fundraising efforts, obviously. I’m not THAT corrupt.), to take aim at a target of opportunity on eBay; a Money Idol Exchanger cartridge for my NEO-GEO cabinet. I love that game! Sadly, it was not to be.
This morning, I charged up my PSP because I was going to my grandmother’s for Christmas dinner. (Yes, on the 28th. Because of the schedules of those who would be there.) I have a NEO-GEO emulator on my PSP, which I use almost exclusively to play Money Idol Exchanger, it’s the only ROM I have on it for a game I don’t actually own for original hardware. Then I remembered that there was a PSP/PS3 port of the PlayStation version of MIE, but that it was only available on the Japanese PSN. With that in mind, I decided to see if anyone had finally ripped it… A quick googling turned up something awesome; it was now available on the US PlayStation Network store, as an ‘Import’. And it’s only $5.99?! Well, I had to get it.
What about my firmware though? I remember last time I tried to access PSN from my PSP, it told me to either install the official firmware or piss off. And the custom firmware is always a bit behind the official, so what if there’s no custom firmware with the version this thing wants? But wait! There IS a custom firmware with the latest version! So, I upgraded.
I bought the game on my PC, and used their application to put it on my PSP, and then I went about getting to grandma’s. When I finally stumbled off to bed after getting home, I took my PSP with me to play some Money Idol Exchanger in bed. But I found myself wanting to check out PSN, now that it has comics and all sorts of crazy stuff. So I went exploring. Found all sorts of neat free comics. Then I checked out games. Look at all these old PlayStation games! Look at all these SNK arcade ports! And the downloadable PSP games! HEY! METAL SLUG ANTHOLOGY?! AND METAL SLUG XX?! And there’s even DLC for METAL SLUG XX?! HORY CARP!
I didn’t have any money to be doing anything with, but now there’s a half dozen games I want to buy… Such are the wonders of digital distribution when it JUST WORKS. Right there, on my PSP, curled up in bed, I was able to surf the store, cart up items, and if I’d had the money, buy them. Sony, I’ve hardly bought any PSP games since the year I imported my Ceramic White PSP1000 gigapack from Zipang, but that isn’t to say I pirate them, I simply don’t buy games. I use my PSP for emulation, and for enjoying the few PSP games I do have. But if you make it this easy to buy games, I’ll do it! It’s like Steam. Do you have any idea how many TENS OF THOUSANDS of impulse buys take place on Steam every day just because there’s basically no obstacles? And I don’t even mean during a sale!
What happens when the next OFW comes out and I can’t update my CFW to match? I’ll suddenly be unable to access the store? I hope not, Sony. I hope you guys smartened up. Because if you effectively block CFW users from using the PSN Store through the use of version requirements, you aren’t forcing people to install the OFW, you’re simply making them NOT PAY FOR GAMES. Think about that. Remove as many obstacles as possible, and the money WILL flow.
– End Rant